Democrat Jason Crow beats Mike Coffman in quarterly fundraising, lags GOP incumbent’s cash on hand

Author: Ernest Luning - January 24, 2018 - Updated: January 25, 2018

In this Sept. 6, 2012, file photo, Iraq war veteran Jason Crow addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Democrat Jason Crow outraised Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman in the most recent fundraising quarter, but the five-term incumbent outspent his challenger in Colorado’s battleground 6th Congressional District and had more cash on hand at the end of the year, according to reports the campaigns plan to file with the Federal Election Commission.

In the quarter ending Dec. 31, Crow raised $276,712 to Coffman’s roughly $241,000, their campaigns told Colorado Politics.

Crow, one of four Democrats running to unseat Coffman, will report spending approximately $80,000 during the three-month period, while Coffman will report spending just under $125,000 — leaving $590,346 in Crow’s campaign account and about $840,000 in Coffman’s.

For the year, Coffman has raised $1.22 million, compared with just under $800,000 pulled in by Crow, who declared his candidacy in April

In a written statement, Crow said he’s grateful for the support he’s received from the district and across Colorado, and then got in some digs at the Republican he hopes to face in November.

“Over the last 10 months, as Mike Coffman voted 95 percent of the time with Donald Trump and Paul Ryan and gave tax cuts to his corporate donors, we’ve been traveling the district talking to Coloradans about what matters to them. We’re focused on making our economy work for all families, protecting the environment and unique Colorado way of life, reforming our campaign finance laws, and bringing servant-leadership back to CO-6. Our grassroots momentum is in strong contrast to the millions of dollars Mike Coffman has taken from corporate special interests. With our large coalition of supporters, we are poised to take back this seat for the people of Colorado in November.”

Crow’s campaign said 70 percent of his total contributions — raised from more than 2,700 individual donors — came from Colorado residents. He has refused to take donations from corporate PACs, a stance underlined by an endorsement from End Citizens United, a campaign-finance reform group.

Details from Coffman’s report weren’t available, but his campaign manager didn’t sound impressed.

“Like Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Jason Crow’s fundraising is clearly benefiting from Washington, D.C., party committee assistance and national donors who are eager to stamp out the more-liberal, less-corporate, grassroots alternative in his primary,” Tyler Sandberg told Colorado Politics. “That’s fine — we have beaten the Democratic establishment before, and we are ready for the fight in 2018, too.”

The nearly evenly divided 6th Congressional District has become a perennial battleground — candidates and outside groups spent the fifth-highest amount among congressional elections nationwide last cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The suburban district tilted toward Democrat Hillary Clinton in the last election by about 9 points while returning Coffman to Congress by a comfortable, 7-point margin. It’s one of more than two dozen seats Democrats have targeted in order to win control of the House after the November election.

Crow, an attorney and Army Ranger veteran, is in a heated primary with fellow Democrats Levi Tillemann, a clean energy expert and entrepreneur; attorney and former school board candidate David Aarestad; and computer technician Erik Stanger.

Coffman, an Army and Marine Corps veteran who has held elected office in Colorado for nearly three decades, is facing a primary challenge from conservative activist Roger Edwards.

Crow and Coffman are the first candidates to release their end-of-year campaign finance totals. Quarterly reports are due to the FEC by midnight on Jan. 31.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.